Category: Popes

St Gregory The Great

Pope Gregory I (c. 540 – 12 March 604), commonly known as Saint Gregory the Great, was Pope from 3 September 590 to his death in 604. (Wikipedia)

Saint Gregory the Great

He is not wise to me who is wise in words only, but he who is wise in deeds.
– St Gregory

Pope Francis says ………


Pope Francis says ………

I have come to tell you that Jesus is Lord.

Please know, Jesus never lets you down!

The Lord knows what to say to you.

Please know the Love and tenderness of Mother Mary never let you down.

And holding on to her mantle and the power that comes from  Jesus’s love on the cross, let us move forward, always forward.

And walk together as brothers and sisters, in the Lord,  forward.



Pope Francis In Twenty Facts

pope-francis-graphic-biography-montagePope Francis is beginning to look like a good champion of the Faith, and may turn out to be the greatest Pope in the modern history of papacy.

Pope Francis is invigorating the Catholic Church and in so doing also the Christian faith in general.

I have to admit that my favourite pope, (though I am not a practising Roman Catholic anymore – but they say a Catholic will always be a Catholic, just look into the history of Henry VIII!) is Pope Benedict XVI. I was so disappointed when he resigned but I do understand it now. He said that he that he heard from God that it was time for him to go and let someone with more vim and vigour to take over. How right that was!

Since he became in charge of the Papal Seat, Pope Francis has been vocal and proactive.  He has tackled things head-on which is admirable in the short time that he has been the Pope.

Let us get to know him more, below are 20 facts about Pope Francis.


Pope Francis In Twenty Facts


He’s had a girlfriend, he loves the tango, and at one point he worked as a bouncer. Here’s 20 things you didn’t know about this most humble of Popes.

Pope francis twenty things you may not know

Pope Francis is a passionate fan of San Lorenzo Football Club Photo: Reuters

By Harry Alsop

1. Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born Dec 17, 1936, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, one of five children born to an Italian railway worker and his wife.

2. His father, Mario Jorge, emigrated to Argentina from the Piedmont region of Italy.

3. He speaks Italian, German and Spanish fluently, in addition to a smattering of English, French and Portuguese. He can also speak a bit of the Piedmontaise dialect too.

4. He lost part of his lung to infection as a youth.

5. He is a fan of the tango. “I love tango and I used to dance when I was young,” he told Francesca Ambrogetti and Sergio Rubin, the authors of his 2010 biography El Jesuita.

6. He had a girlfriend. “She was one of a group of friends I went dancing with. But then I discovered my religious vocation,” he said to Ambrogetti and Rubin

7. He worked as a bouncer in a Buenos Aires bar to earn money as a student.

8. He is a passionate fan of San Lorenzo Football Club, his local team. They were the first Argentine team to win the domestic double, in 1972.

9. His favourite painting is The White Crucifixion, painted by Marc Chagall in 1938. The painting shows Jesus being crucified on the cross, wearing a prayer shawl as a symbol that he is Jewish. The painting originally showed a soldier with a swastika on his armband burning down a synagogue.

10. His favourite film is Babette’s Feast, a 1987 Danish drama directed by Gabriel Axel.

An early 1950’s picture of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, right, posing with unidentified schoolmates (AP)

11. He studied philosophy at the Catholic University of Buenos Aires and also has a master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Buenos Aires.

12. He was a teacher of literature, psychology, philosophy and theology before becoming the Archbishop of Buenos Aires.

13. He is the co-author of “Sobre el Cielo y la Tierra (On Heaven and Earth)”, which can be purchased for Kindle.

14. He was previously Archbishop of Buenos Aires, from 1998 to 2013. He was known during this time to try and set an example for others, eschewing the extravagant robes of his position for the humble robes of a simple priest.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio, centre, speaking with a passanger during a travel in metro in Buenos Aires (Ediciones B/EPA)

15. He used public transport rather than taxis or a chauffeured car to get around and lived in a small flat with an older priest and made all his own meals, despite having access to the Archbishop’s quarters and a chef.

16. He was made a Cardinal by John Paul II in 2001.

17. During the 2005 conclave in which he was runner up, he was reportedly the victim of a smear campaign by other, more liberal members of the Jesuit order, who claimed that he never smiled.

18. He travelled to the conclave in Rome on an economy flight.

19. Francis is the first non-European pope since Gregory III, who was born in modern-day Syria and elected in 731.

20. He is apparently not Francis I but Pope Francis. Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi explains: “It will become Francis I after we have a Francis II.” Pope John Paul I, the last pope to affix a ‘I’, decided to attach it himself.

Latest endeavour of the Pope is an invitation to engaged couple to attend a special meeting with him on St Valentine’s Day.  How human and lovely is that?!!!


The Other John

Pope John 23

Pope John 23

Pope John XXIII is due to be officially made into a saint by the 8th of December 2013, at the same time as Pope John Paul II.



I have looked into your eyes with my eyes. I have put my heart near your heart.
Pope John Xxiii


“Consult not your fears but your
hopes and your dreams. Think
not about your frustrations, but
about your unfulfilled
potential. Concern yourself not
with what you tried and failed
in, but with what it is still
possible for you to do.”
-Pope John XXIII

Saint John Paul The Great (Pope Paul II)

“As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.”
– St John Paul The Great

Saint John Paul The Great (Pope Paul II)

Darkness can only be scattered by light, hatred can only be conquered by love.
– St John Paul The Great

Do not be afraid. Do not be satisfied with mediocrity.  Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.
– St John Paul The Great

Even if the forces of darkness appear to prevail, those who believe in God know that evil and death do not have the final say.
– St John Paul The Great

the distinctive mark of the Christian,today more than ever, must be love for the poor, the weak, the suffering.
– St John Paul The Great

The truth is not always the same as the majority decision.
– St John Paul the Great

John Paul II was canonised on 27 April 2014, alongside Pope John XXIII.  He’s now known as Pope Saints John Paul II or Saints John Paul the Great.

He made history during his term:

  • He was the second longest serving pope in modern history (The longest was Pope Pius IX)

; he reigned for 27 years.

  • He was the first non-Italian pope since 1523.
  • He helped end communist ruling in his home country, Poland.
  • He’s one of the most well travelled world leaders.

Pope Saint John Paul II Born Karol Józef Wojtyła

I still remember when Pope John Paul II first came to the Philippines in 1981. I was in college then but we were asked to line up Roxas Boulevard and wait for the Pope’s arrival. We were advised to shout Totus Tuus to the Pope.  They actually did not tell us what it meant. But we said it anyway with so much gusto. Totus Tuus means Totally Yours, which was the motto of Pope John Paul II.

Pope John Paul II was much beloved in the Philippines.  In February of 1981, he beatified Lorenzo Ruiz, who became our very first Filipino saint.  The beatification was attended by the thousands in Luneta.


3rd July 2013

Apparently the saintly Pope is officially being made into a saint. They reckon that he will be a saint before the end of the year. He will be canonized at the same time as John XXIII (23), the good pope.

Pope Francis has to give his final approval.

New Pope Elected

At 6.19 pm (7.19pm) white smoke issued from the most watched chimney in the world verified by the chiming bells of St Peters.

Whitse smoke fro St Peters Rome signifies a new Pope has been chosen

Whits smoke from the chimney on  St Peters, Rome signifies a new Pope has been chosen

Just over 24 hours when the college of cardinals conclave convened; 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide have a new spiritual leader.

At  6.48 pm (7.48) Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI appears on the balcony.

 at 7.15 (8.15) pm Jean-Louis Tauran announces the fateful words “Habemus Papam”, or “We have a Pope”

7.20 (8.20)pm Cardinal  Bergoglio  the 76-year-old Archbishop(he became Cardinal in 2001) of Buenos Aires is named as the new Pope

His name will be Pope Francis I

He is from Argentine of Italian parentage. A Cardinal said  The church will be blessed. He is known to be a conservative, spiritual, humble and will look to be a reformer

Not since 741 has a Pope has been chosen ouside of Europe

He is 76 and lost a lung as a child

A river of humanity streams around St Peters wanting to be near the new Pope

 At 7.35 (8.35)pm  The curtains to the balcony part  & open, Pope Francis I, clad in white, appears on the balcony of St Peter’s before the mass of humanity below . He speaks, makes a small joke and asks the crowd to pray for hime  He then blesses the screaming crowd and worldwide Christians.


Pope Francis I

Pope Francis I

Good luck and God bless the new pope, Pope Francis I.


Rome conclave: Cardinals set to elect new Pope

In about three days  we may have a new POPE!!!


12 March 2013 Last updated at 11:31

The cardinals have been seeking divine guidance for the choice ahead

Cardinals gathered in Rome to elect the new Pope will begin voting later, with no clear frontrunner to take over as head of the Roman Catholic Church.

The 115 cardinal-electors have attended a special Mass in St Peter’s Basilica.

This afternoon they will process into the Sistine Chapel to begin their secret deliberations. They will vote four times daily until two-thirds can agree on a candidate.

The election was prompted by the surprise abdication of Benedict XVI.

The 85-year-old stepped down last month saying he was no longer strong enough to lead the church, which is beset by problems ranging from a worldwide scandal over sexual abuse to allegations of corruption at the Vatican bank.

Benedict’s resignation and the recent damage to the Church’s reputation make the choice of the cardinal-electors especially hard to predict, the BBC’s James Robbins in Rome says.

Conclave interactive video

Philippa Thomas presenting conclave interactive video

Step inside our virtual Sistine Chapel as Philippa Thomas explains the process to elect a new Pope

They will weigh pressure for a powerful manager to reform the Vatican against calls for a new Pope able to inspire the faithful, our correspondent adds.

Strict secrecy

At Tuesday morning’s “Mass for the Election of the Supreme Pontiff” in St Peter’s Basilica the cardinals sought divine guidance for the election ahead.

In his homily, the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano praised the “brilliant pontificate” of Pope Benedict and implored God to grant another “Good Shepherd” to lead the church.

He outlined the mission Catholics believe was given by Jesus Christ to St Peter – the first Pope – emphasising love and sacrifice, evangelization and the unity of the church.

The BBC’s Michael Hirst in Rome says the speech was more measured in tone than the address given in 2005 by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before he became Pope Benedict, which featured a fiery attack on the “dictatorship of relativism”.

In the afternoon, 115 cardinal-electors – all under 80, as those over 80 are excluded – will proceed into the Sistine Chapel for the secret conclave to select Benedict’s successor.

Once they have taken an oath of secrecy, Msgr Guido Marini, papal master of ceremonies, will call out the words “Extra omnes” – “Everybody out” – and the chapel doors will be locked to outsiders.

On Tuesday morning several cardinals took to Twitter to say goodbye to their followers before being cut off from the outside world.

“Last tweet before the conclave: May Our Father hear and answer with love and mercy all prayers and sacrifices offered for a fruitful outcome,” South African Cardinal Wilfrid Napier tweeted.

Jamming devices in the Sistine Chapel should block all electronic communication and anyone tweeting would in any case risk being excommunicated.

Benedict – now known as Pope emeritus – resigned on 28 February after eight years in office, citing ill health. He was the first Pope in six centuries to do so.

As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, in 2005 he was the marked favourite ahead of the conclave and was elected pope after just four rounds of voting.

The vote for his successor is expected to take much longer.

After 10 general congregations open to all cardinals, regardless of age – at which 160 cardinals spoke of the issues facing the church and the qualities needed by its next leader – no clear frontrunner has emerged.

“Last time around there was a man of stature, three or four times that of any other cardinal,” French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin told reporters, according to Reuters news agency.

“That is not the case this time around. Therefore, the choice has to be made among one, two, three, four… a dozen candidates.

“We still don’t really know anything. We will have to wait for the results of the first ballot.”

Candidates named as contenders include Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan, Brazil’s Odilo Scherer, and the US Cardinal Timothy Dolan – though he told one interviewer anyone who thought he was in with a chance might be “smoking marijuana”.

Once inside the Sistine Chapel, cardinals will listen to a meditation by elderly Maltese Cardinal Prosper Grech before holding a first vote, after which their ballot papers will be burned.

The smoke that will drift out of the chapel’s chimney early in the evening is likely to be black – meaning no Pope has been elected.

From Wednesday, two votes will be held each morning and afternoon – with ballots burned after each session – until one candidate attains a two-thirds majority (77 votes).

Then the smoke will be white, meaning the 266th bishop of Rome will have been chosen.

Conclave in numbers

  • 115 cardinal-electors
  • Two-thirds – or 77 – need to agree on papal candidate
  • Four votes per day, two in the morning and two in the evening
  • Chosen candidate will be 266th Pope
  • He will lead world’s 1.2 billion Catholics

The Pope’s new clothes

Family-owned tailors already has his robes ready

Gammarelli has served hundreds of cardinals and Popes since 1798

The Pope’s new clothes


Annibale Gammarelli stands outside his family's tailor shop next to a display window showcasing Papal clothes (Reuters)

Annibale Gammarelli stands outside his family’s tailor shop next to a display window showcasing Papal clothes (Reuters)


While the world waits for the election of the new Pope the Vatican’s official tailor shop has already prepared – by making three sets of the famous robes.

Although the Cardinals have yet to meet in the Sistine Chapel to elect the new Pope the family-owned Gammarelli tailor shop, which has dressed each Pope for more than two centuries, has already stocked the white and red uniform.

One of the three sets of robes on display in the Italian shop will be the one the new Pope wears when he appears on the balcony of St Peter’s Basilica in front of millions of people for the first time.

A white silk skullcap, known as a “zucchetto”, a white sash with golden fringes and red leather shoes were displayed on a bed of red cloth in the window.

A white Papal skull cap and red loafers are seen in the display window of the Gammarelli tailor shop in Rome ( …

Tradition dictates that three versions of the same robes will be made in advance for the new Pope, whatever his size.

Once the white smoke has appeared from the Sistine Chapel, signifying that a Pope has been chosen, nuns at the Vatican make last-minute alterations to the robes that are the closest fit before the Pope makes his first public entrance.

Gammarelli, behind the Pantheon in central Rome, has served hundreds of cardinals and Popes since 1798. Pope Pius XII was an exception: he used his family tailor.

Pope Benedict XVI officially resigned on February 28 after eight years as head of the Catholic Church. A new Pope is due to be elected in time to preside over Easter celebrations.

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